Prinz Heinrich Class Armoured Cruiser

World War 1 Naval Combat

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sms prinz heinrich Prinz Heinrich Class.  Distinguishable from the Fürst Bismarck by the single rather than twin main gun turrets and lighter forward superstructure as well as the concentration of the secondary guns amidships, a feature repeated in future German Armoured Cruiser designs.  This was the first of a planed 14 armoured cruisers under the Second German Naval Law.

SMS Prinz Heinrich
Built Kiel Navy Dockyard, laid down December 1898, completed March 1902, cost 16,588,000 Marks.

Length 410 feet 1 inch waterline 415 feet 4 inches overall, beam 64 feet 4 inches, draught 26 feet 6 inches, displacement 8,857 load 9,806 tons full load.

3 shaft Triple expansion engines, 15,000 ihp, 20 knots

Trials: 15,694 shp = 19.9 knots

4in belt, 6in turret faces, 2in decks

2 x 9.4in 40cal (2 x 1), 10 x 5.9in 40 cal (10 x 1), 10 x 3.45in (10 x 1), 4 x 17.7in TT

Smaller, cheaper design with reduced armour and armament but slightly higher speed.  Crew 567.

World War 1 Service:
Prinz Heinrich

III Scouting Group.
16 December 1914  took part in the operation to bombard Hartlepool.
Apr 1915 onwards Baltic Sea.
March 1916 Used as barrack ship.
1920 Sold for scrapping.

SMS Prinz Heinrich.  Like other German large cruisers, she was intended for overseas duties but once war had started this role was not viable and they were not modern enough to be useful in the more dangerous North Sea or Baltic theatres and were soon relegated to secondary roles. sms prinz heinrich

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